HONG KONG, 5 September 2011 －Famine has been confirmed in one more area in southern Somalia, totalling six famine regions: Lower Shabelle region, parts of Bakool and Middle Shabelle, Afgoye IDP settlement, Mogadishu IDP community, and Bay region. Without adequate response, 750,000 people are at imminent risk of dying in the coming months and famine is expected to spread further by end of 2011.
The newly-declared famine region of Bay has the global acute malnutrition rate at 58%, nearly four times the WHO emergency threshold of 15%, meanwhile, one in five children are severely malnourished at exceptional high risk of death.
UNICEF is thus working against the clock, ramping up its life-saving interventions, with the blanket supplementary feeding as the main focus. Aiming at reaching 200,000 families per month for the next six months, this feeding programme will cover the gap of lacking food aid.
Apart from nutrition, UNICEF provides immunisation service and safe water to affected children and their families, to prevent the outbreak of disease. We will conduct scale-up measles campaign targeting 2 million children, expand access to safe water of children and their families at camps, transit points and in the regions through Outpatient Therapeutic Programme and by drilling boreholes and water trucking.
UNICEF estimates an overall funded amount of HK$2.8 billion (US$363.7 million) for the Horn of Africa. As of 6 September, 74 per cent of the total amount has been attained. Heartfelt thanks to both government, corporate and private sector contributions.